Thread: Sim Racing |OT| Point Brake
Official Thread

Damage inc

Punished
Platforms
  1. PC
  2. Nintendo
I’ve taken the dive into full Sim Racing and have put all other gaming on a basic hold. Racing for me started way back with GT on PS1 and mostly other SimCade games up to the Forza series. I had always raced with a controller except for a short stint with Forza 3 and the Xbox 360 Racing Wheel, granted that wasn’t that great of a wheel and I ended up quickly jumping back to a Controller.

Fast forward to last year, I bought a G29 to play Dirt Rally 2.0. Combined with a Thrustmaster TH8A shifter and a ghetto JoyBrake I quickly got hooked. I would spend hours running Rally Cross and Rally time trials. Getting slightly better with every hour my times kept getting better and better. But I was still involved with other games and was heavily playing COD MW until COVID.

Covid has been interesting for lots of people that I know. Finding Hobbies is very important during all of this. I work in Healthcare and when I wasn’t working, I was playing games with my Family. I decided after a long on call week to dig out my G29 and run some laps. Hours and many Spotify playlists later I took a break. My buddy called and offered to trade a Vive for a .22 that I had. I quickly took the offer and that’s when everything changed. VR Racing is the ONLY way I can race now, even with the older Vive and Super sampling the depth perception is unbeatable. You find those apexes and feel way more confident diving into corners and drifting being able to look out another window to see where you are heading.

The Sim Racing Community has grown and become more desirable during the lockdowns. Companies like Logitech, Thrustmaster and Fanatec have provided multiple grades of equipment to the masses. Youtube Channels have become more and more popular for reviews, settings and Indepth guides. Communities such as iRacing have been a hot spot between Forums, FB Groups etc.

I figured I would take this time and see who is interested in a possible Sim Community right here. Below I will list out some high-level breakdowns of important things to consider for Sim Racing at any budget.


Hardware

Cockpits: Possibly one of the most overlooked things to new racers. Everyone jumps right to the Racing Gear but overlooks one of the most important foundations. Having a sturdy cockpit is very important to stay consistent, between flex or movement when you are slamming on a brake pedal, having a solid foundation is possibly more important than a high-end wheel. Below are a few of the options for cockpits that could be used.
Desks: This is doable with low end gear but will still lead to issues, particularly if you are using a chair with wheels or are on hard floors. Pedals will slip, desks will shake knocking down your Anime Weeb statues. Desks are possibly a good start for something like a Gear driven wheel like a G29 but Pedal placement will be crucial. Mounting a Direct Drive wheel to a desk could prove catastrophic.

Wheel Stands: A much better option, usually fold able and able to be moved easily. This leaves you mostly worried about a seat that doesn’t move or flex while you are racing. Some of the downfalls of wheel stands come with higher end wheels in the Direct Drive area, they can overpower the stand and cause flex or wobble which is very bad.

Prebuilt Cockpits: Companies such as TrakRacer, GT Omega, Next Level Racing, SIMLAB offer a variation of options, from Steel tube to 8020 Aluminum rigs. These usually range from $600-$1500 but beware shipping charges and stock issues.

DIY Cockpit: This is the option I went for, I went to a local metal shop and bought 30ft of 2x2 11 GA Steel tubing, learned how to weld and went to it. With plating I spent about $200 on the frame including castors to move it and $250 on a racing seat. There are downfalls, it may not offer as many options for adjustments but if it's just built around a certain set of equipment it shouldn’t be a problem.


Wheel Tech: This is where it gets interesting and heavily influenced by your budget.

Gear Driven: This is usually the entry point for most. It is cheaper because it uses a small motor and a set of cogs to amplify the Force Feed Back. This is going to provide a cheap way to see if you even like jumping further down the Rabbit hole. The major downside is overall Torque and Detail. Detail gets lost by the time it gets to the wheel.

Belt Driven: This is going to be much smoother but a little bit more expensive than a gear set. You get much better feedback and detail vs the Gear system. You get more Torque and detail but still some is lost compared to the next option. Most racers tend to stop here at a Belt system. They are the happy medium.

Direct Drive: This would-be Tim the Tool Man Taylor’s pick. Huge amounts of power, for better or worse. This is the smoothest and most detailed system; you will have the ability to really fight the motor in turns and even feel the difference in road texture down the painted surfaces. This comes at a cost though, possible Physical harm. Thumbs can be dislocated, wrists broken, and heaven forbid you get your arm caught in the wheel. This is what I just went to. Also consider an E-Stop button by your legs just in case. At times this can feel like arm wrestling a Gorilla, but the feel is downright amazing.


Manufacturers: For this segment I am going to keep it mainstream and offer 3 of the main options on the market.

Logitech: G29 Platform, this is the cheapest method of entry. It comes with the wheel and pedals with a Gear driven system. Probably will do most people well enough but will be easily outmatched by nicer gear. Pedals are the major weakness due to a soft inconsistent feel.

Thrustmaster: Their systems are the ones I know the least about actually, TM offers a few options and are slightly more expensive than Logitech, but they have a big following in the Market. They can also be mixed and matched if you wanted certain offerings (PC Only).

Fanatec: These guys are the big boys of the Mass market. Offering a few options and lots of compatibility between systems. They are kind of like the Apple of Sim Racing. Offering Belt driven options like the CSL Elite and CSW 2.5 up the DD1 and DD2 Direct Drive offerings. Usually, a set of their pedals are quickly mixed in with a Logitech and TM system.


Pedals, Shifters and Handbrakes Oh My!

These are usually the first things that get swapped or added. Pedals are widely known to the be best first upgrade you can do. In my case I went with a Fanatec Clubsport V3 pedal set, offering a load Cell Brake. Shifters such as the Logitech Shifter are missing a lot of feel to them and they feel loose and flappy. Going with a Thrustmaster THA8 is a much better feel but still quite dead feeling. Something like the Fanatec CS Shifter 2.5 offers a much better feel as well as a quick swap to a Sequential shifter and the pull of a toggle switch. Handbrakes can be found on Ebay for cheap or can be found from Fanatec etc. This is very important for games like Dirt.


Displays

This is going to be highly subjective but from spending enough time in the Community I can safely rate them in a general fashion.

Single Screen: This is going to be the least appealing, limited FOV and depth is going to be lacking from this.

Triple Screen: This is a much better option providing huge gains in FOV but comes at a huge price tag and performance budget.

VR: This is where racing comes alive, if you can handle it. Some people have no issues, some just can’t do it. But far and away one of the best ways to be immersed into the race.


Tactile feedback

When you drive a car, you feel all sorts of information being fed to you. When you are racing in a sim just having the wheel giving you that information sometimes isn’t enough. Pedals sometimes have built in motors that can give you info on wheel slip or locking your brakes. But the best way to get immersed is by something like a Buttkicker or other like systems. Feeling the engine, road bumps or getting the feeling of rubbing another racer in a corner is an amazing feeling and well worth the effort to set it up.


Gloves, Shoes and Helmets

Just kidding on the Helmets. But Gloves and Shoes could prove useful. Gloves provide grip and protection both for you and the wheel. Suede wheels can get nasty with oils from your skin. Other things that gloves can help with is protecting your fingers from catching a spinning paddle shifter or a sharp handbrake lever while shifting into 5th (I got a huge gash on my knuckle from that).

Shoes are just as important in my opinion Thin racing shoes allow your feet to be flexible to heel toe vs having a bulky shoe on. Racing shoes are so light you almost don’t know they are on. Barefoot with some of these pedal sets can get uncomfortable.


Software

Software and Add Ons

This is very important if you want to use all the information the sim gives you. Something like Simhub to control forcefeed back settings for Buttkickers, or Racedepartment.com to download add on tracks, cars and even engine sounds. There are all sorts of things out there but Simhub and Race department are great starts.

Now the actual Sim Software

Sim Racing has a huge community to mingle with over a few different options.

IRacing
Assetto Corsa Series
Project Cars
RFactor 2
Dirt Rally
And many more.

IRacing is probably one of the most well-known. It is a Subscription service but also requires in game payments for tracks and cars. There are leagues where you can make money on. It is a real name affair when racing on iRacing, your real name is displayed when racing based on your account that is setup. You can be banned or have your license demoted based on your driving, every Collison or off track even is an incident point. It helps keep people from being idiots.

The other games on the list support DLC and even community content to many degrees. Assetto and Rfactor 2 are heavily moddable for free but also support their own Laser Scanned tracks you can buy for the best experience.

Virtual Racing School: Is a new add on that I’ve tried. It has free features but is mostly paid monthly. It runs while you play, analyzing your telemetry data. You log into the website and it gives a full map and graph of everything down to tire temps at a certain point. It will allow you to detect bad habits and make corrections.

Crew Chief: Want a custom Crew Chief and Spotter that talks to you by name? This is for you. Way more talkative than the standard iracing spotter. Will give you great information about the Track, Temps, Time and other racers.

Trading Paints: This iRacing addon is great for adding a more custom look to your cars. Granted if you are good with photo editing you can make your own Car theme but if not this is going to be what you want. Be warned that if someone else isn't using this they won't see your custom car theme.

Community
As mentioned before Sites like Racedepartment.com is a great option. If you prefer Youtube Boosted Media and Sim Racing Garage are perfect places to go for information. SRG has been called the Bob Ross of Sim Racing, guy is amazing in his ridiculous Indepth coverage of equipment.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT_50ZiRFWSm7oziV1OZloQ
https://www.youtube.com/user/projectbrz

I am hoping this thread can get a little movement here to hopefully build a small community of Racers right here. Who else is interested in doing some laps?


My Setup consists of the following now.

Cockpit: Homemade Custom Cockpit built from 2x2 11ga Steel Tubing with a NRG Fiberglass racing seat. Frame isn't finished yet, will be finishing welding and paint soon.
Transducer: Buttkicker Gamer2 along with Simhub to control it.
Wheel: Fanatec DD1 with Porsche 911 GT3 Wheel
Pedals: Fanatec Clubsport V3 Pedals with Performance Kit
Shifter: Fanatec Sq Shifter ( Both H and Sq modes)
Handbrake: Fanatec Handbrake 1.5
VR: Oculus Quest 2

I ended up selling my old stuff but one thing I noticed about the market is that resale is very high for the equipment so makes it a little less painful to give it a shot.




 
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I've been neglecting my sim-racing a bit lately with all the retro gaming - iRacing is my sim of choice with Assetto Corsa in 2nd. Assetto Corsa's sequel is shit by the way - the Unreal engine has ruined it. RFactor 2 is frankly a mess and Automobilista 2 isn't really doing it for me - some of the tracks feel very low quality.

In terms of gear, I run with a Thrustmaster T300 wheel - tbh reliability isn't great as I'm on my 3rd but it's a good quality wheel for not much money - with Fanatec CSR Elite pedals. VR is the original Rift. Button box from DSD also helps because I can't see shit.
 
I've been neglecting my sim-racing a bit lately with all the retro gaming - iRacing is my sim of choice with Assetto Corsa in 2nd. Assetto Corsa's sequel is shit by the way - the Unreal engine has ruined it. RFactor 2 is frankly a mess and Automobilista 2 isn't really doing it for me - some of the tracks feel very low quality.

In terms of gear, I run with a Thrustmaster T300 wheel - tbh reliability isn't great as I'm on my 3rd but it's a good quality wheel for not much money - with Fanatec CSR Elite pedals. VR is the original Rift. Button box from DSD also helps because I can't see shit.

I really have been only focused on iRacing and AC. I can't get into ACC, it runs so poorly in VR. Currently shopping for a new VR headset. Tried a quest 2 recently and was pretty impressed coming from the OG Vive. Undecided between the Q2, Index or Reverb G2. Other than that I am set on Gear. I finally installed the Brake Performance Kit into the pedals. I went with the "Very Hard" combo. Its much better than the more spongy feel but still wouldn't mind it a bit more stiff.
 
I like playing some Sim Racing games such as Automobilista 2 and Asseto Corsa using my G29 and I like playing them on chase cam.
 
Anyone keen on some Iracing, Lucas oil style races? Pro lite 2’s are the best.

If you have assetto corsa, check out the transam mod. If we can get a few people into it, we should start some casual races. 1st place can win my toaster. It’s used and a bit dinged, but it’s a nice toaster.
 
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Anyone keen on some Iracing, Lucas oil style races? Pro lite 2’s are the best.

If you have assetto corsa, check out the transam mod. If we can get a few people into it, we should start some casual races. 1st place can win my toaster. It’s used and a bit dinged, but it’s a nice toaster.

i actually haven’t ventured too far out of road racing and rookie stock car races. I’ll check out the AC mod.
 

For anyone who hasn't got it already - highlights are Dirt Rally 2, Assetto Corsa plus all the DLC, Kartcraft and Nascar Heat 5.
 
I loved AC, but once I played project cars in vr I didn't want to go back to flat screen racing, and the vr integration of AC just sucked. Have packed up my wheel last year when lockdown started, because I needed to make space for the "office at home". Until lockdown is well and truly over I won't be able to use the wheel, thus no simracing :(
 
I loved AC, but once I played project cars in vr I didn't want to go back to flat screen racing, and the vr integration of AC just sucked. Have packed up my wheel last year when lockdown started, because I needed to make space for the "office at home". Until lockdown is well and truly over I won't be able to use the wheel, thus no simracing :(

Tbh I had no big issues with AC's handling of VR - what were your issues? As for home office - I've managed to do a decent enough job of combining the office and gaming setup - the VR headset sits in its spot with cables wrapped around it when not in use, same for the wheel, but both can be unwrapped and plugged in easily when needed. Just gotta push the keyboard back to make room and that's it.
 
I could never set up my PCVR headset in such a way that it would work smoothly in AC, while it worked perfectly with pCars and dirt rally. Also the menus never worked for me in vr in AC. Taking the headset on and off all the time was a nuisance.

Also, for work I use a wacom tablet that is now hogging the hdmi port my vr headset was plugged into. I'm a bit too lazy to crawl under the desk every time I want to get a few laps in ;)

So it was just little issues adding up, rather than one big problem.
 
I could never set up my PCVR headset in such a way that it would work smoothly in AC, while it worked perfectly with pCars and dirt rally. Also the menus never worked for me in vr in AC. Taking the headset on and off all the time was a nuisance.

Also, for work I use a wacom tablet that is now hogging the hdmi port my vr headset was plugged into. I'm a bit too lazy to crawl under the desk every time I want to get a few laps in ;)

So it was just little issues adding up, rather than one big problem.

Can’t say the Rift has ever given me problems there and the menu thing doesn’t bother me. Maybe I’ll just less fussy.
 
Could you elaborate a bit on why Competizione is not good? It's on my wishlist and wonder if it is worth my time. Does it handle badly?

They switched to the Unreal engine which means it runs like shit. Assetto Corsa runs very very well on fairly mediocre hardware (VR was pretty much perfect even on a GTX 970 - I now have a 1660 super thank god), but Competizione doesn't. Plus the original is more open to modding. The problem in sim racing is that if you start pushing performance too hard you introduce input lag which makes handling fucking terrible too.
 
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I loved AC, but once I played project cars in vr I didn't want to go back to flat screen racing, and the vr integration of AC just sucked. Have packed up my wheel last year when lockdown started, because I needed to make space for the "office at home". Until lockdown is well and truly over I won't be able to use the wheel, thus no simracing :(
I run AC in Vr only. Have had 0 issues with it besides not having VR support for the menus. I much prefer racing around in AC myself vs PC2 but I still had fun with the F1 cars in PC2.
 
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Yo @HariSeldon

After a short break from racing I decided to jump back in to AC to warm up a bit. Rebuilt my PC and upgraded my VR headset. Decided last night to buy a new car in iRacing. Decided to join the Indy Cup series. Bought the PM18. Thing is a blast. Turned about 100 practice laps in Long Beach. Had a hell of a time with staying racing without losing it to small bumps. Max I could last was 3 laps then had to tow and start with new tires. Couldn’t keep the temps up. So after things started to click I decided to run a Race.

Qualified at 7th which I was kinda surprised at. My best practice laps were 1:17 and I qualified higher in the grid with a 1:18. Made it to the last damn turn on the first lap and got clipped in the back. Had to tow and wait 5 mins. Dropped to 18th place. By the time the repairs were done a fire was lit under my ass. Turned 19 laps non stop before the leader finished. Ended up climbing from 18th to 8th by the time all was said and done. Car really requires nearly straight wheels before accelerating so everything is super wide turns with it. Can’t say I’m a huge fan of Long Beach, I’m probably gonna start prepping for Laguna Seca that’s coming up in a week or so. But here’s the first lap and a few other laps after I got going.

 
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Experimented with doing a Twitch stream of an Assetto Corsa race - had a few goes at it due to a variety of technical gremlins with OBS and my pedals but finally got one that wasn't too fucked up.
 


Experimented with doing a Twitch stream of an Assetto Corsa race - had a few goes at it due to a variety of technical gremlins with OBS and my pedals but finally got one that wasn't too fucked up.


Yeah OBS can be a pain in the rear. I’ve switched to Geforce Exp since it’s a bit lighter on the Pc.

I absolutely love that track. One of my favs. I did enjoy your run them off the road tactic 😂.

I know we have a bit of a time difference but we should do some racing sometime.
 
Yeah OBS can be a pain in the rear. I’ve switched to Geforce Exp since it’s a bit lighter on the Pc.

I absolutely love that track. One of my favs. I did enjoy your run them off the road tactic 😂.

I know we have a bit of a time difference but we should do some racing sometime.
I was just channeling the spirit of Lewis Hamilton.
 
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Not quite simracing but Snowrunner is finally exiting Epic exclusivity on 18th May.




I LOVE Snowrunner. It’s the most chill game to hang around in. My Son plays as well as my boss and Nephew so we get the 4 trucks going. Poor network support for multiple PCs behind one firewall. I have to run my PC on a VPN if my son wants to play in the same session.
 
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I LOVE Snowrunner. It’s the most chill game to hang around in. My Son plays as well as my boss and Nephew so we get the 4 trucks going. Poor network support for multiple PCs behind one firewall. I have to run my PC on a VPN if my son wants to play in the same session.
Yeah it's something I'd love to have a crack at, I love Euro Truck Simulator for similarly chill reasons and yeah it looks so much fun. Just couldn't stomach buying something on Epic.
 
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Yeah it's something I'd love to have a crack at, I love Euro Truck Simulator for similarly chill reasons and yeah it looks so much fun. Just couldn't stomach buying something on Epic.

It's one of the very few games I bought from Epic. I couldn't resist.
 
Iracing is offering a full year membership for 20 bucks right now for new members. Anyone interested better get on it quick.
Not a bad deal. Be aware that the cars and tracks aren't cheap but these days you get quite a lot of content free, certainly enough to have fun with for a good while. Besides you'll spend more on wheel, pedals, triple monitors or VR, etc once you get into it.
 
Not a bad deal. Be aware that the cars and tracks aren't cheap but these days you get quite a lot of content free, certainly enough to have fun with for a good while. Besides you'll spend more on wheel, pedals, triple monitors or VR, etc once you get into it.

Ive only bought 2 cars and a few tracks. I tend to pick a series and hang out in that for a while. I think I’m going to stick with the Indy cup for now but I’m certainly interested in stock cars lately.
 
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Ive only bought 2 cars and a few tracks. I tend to pick a series and hang out in that for a while. I think I’m going to stick with the Indy cup for now but I’m certainly interested in stock cars lately.
Yeah that’s basically the way to do it. Most series have rotation that lets you buy a small number of tracks each season and still get the participation credits.
 
@HariSeldon I am having such a hard time getting my brain to allow the brake to be pressed at the same time as the throttle with these open wheel cars. I get why you need to do it but my right foot springs off the throttle when my left pushes the brake. For example trail braking thru a sweeping right hand turn at full throttle but applying 10-20% brake to keep the back end from coming around on you. Even the slightest tap of the brakes will stop the rear end from getting loose. Taking a ton of practice. I am still 6 seconds off the mark according to VRS with the PM18 on Laguna Seca. I can't get any better than a 1:23 on the track. I am familiar with the lines and know it very well but seems I am always down a gear because I am slowing too much for some of the turns.
 
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@HariSeldon I am having such a hard time getting my brain to allow the brake to be pressed at the same time as the throttle with these open wheel cars. I get why you need to do it but my right foot springs off the throttle when my left pushes the brake. For example trail braking thru a sweeping right hand turn at full throttle but applying 10-20% brake to keep the back end from coming around on you. Even the slightest tap of the brakes will stop the rear end from getting loose. Taking a ton of practice. I am still 6 seconds off the mark according to VRS with the PM18 on Laguna Seca. I can't get any better than a 1:23 on the track. I am familiar with the lines and know it very well but seems I am always down a gear because I am slowing too much for some of the turns.
Don't forget the line isn't constant from car to car - a momentum car will require that you carry as much through mid-corner as possible to maximise the exit while a car with a lot of power is a little more point and squirt, ie you can get away with a slower mid-corner because you'll have the power to power out of the corner provided you get it pointed quickly and have good enough throttle control. As for left-foot braking, I have the opposite problem to you and can't drive the MX-5 without auto-clutch because I left-foot brake everything.
 
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Don't forget the line isn't constant from car to car - a momentum car will require that you carry as much through mid-corner as possible to maximise the exit while a car with a lot of power is a little more point and squirt, ie you can get away with a slower mid-corner because you'll have the power to power out of the corner provided you get it pointed quickly and have good enough throttle control. As for left-foot braking, I have the opposite problem to you and can't drive the MX-5 without auto-clutch because I left-foot brake everything.

I am spot on with most of the line with the PM18 and it certainly does have the power to get out of a corner but if the wheels have any sort of turn to them and you WOT the back end is kicking out. So tapping the brake during that turn keeps it in check. I can left foot brake for everything else but it’s so weird to be WOT but also using the brakes.

The MX5 I right foot brake as I’m using the clutch and heel toe as needed. The only thing the MX5 got me with was the second gear downshift wheel spin. If you don’t have the rpms matched the back end breaks loose so easily. So rev matching became second nature on that car.